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t V - - .... V V V ' ' ' ' I The Palm Beach Post SECTION C THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 1998 INSIDE i 1 ' Marlins name their starting CF Mark Kotsay gets the nod in center field for Florida on opening day. PAGE 5C Inside the NCAA Tournament Final Fours Men: Coaches who handle pressure. Women: 10 reasons to watch. PAGE 7C INSIDE Palm Beach Boat Show is back in town The 13th annual show includes a $100 million display of boats, electronics and accessories along Flagler Drive. PAGE 9C, n y t i ' f f ' V OUTDOORS WEEKLY ORIS Il, , -i - num. num... r. Strict steps up as Heat flatten Celtics ..... j u(t - .- -i'tA Y.ir- consecutive game had the crowd on its feet. Strickland had 23 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes. He was 11-, of-13 from the floor and is shooting U-o- u 27 his last two games. Strickland matched his career high in points and set career,:: highs in rebounds, assists and minutes. .'. "We practice so hard you cant be nothing but ready (to play)," said Strickland, who was making just his second career start. , Strickland also drew the toughest de- ; fensive assignment, Celtics all-star forward ,, Please see HEATiiC the injured PJ. Brown, who sat out with a sprained ankle. And just as it has done throughout this season, Miami increased its level of play without a key player, holding off the pesky Boston Celtics 105-91 Wednesday at the FleetCenter. "We're a team with a lot of guts, Mourning said. "We're a team that does not back down to adversity." Miami is also a team that passed Indiana and moved into second place in the conference. The Heat are 49-21. The Pacers dropped to 48-21 after losing to Houston Mark Strickland scores 23 points as Miami moves past Indiana into second place in the Eastern Conference. By Tom D'Angelo Palm Beach Post Staff Writer BOSTON A good sign that the Heat are going to play well: One of Miami's players honors an injured teammate by inscribing his name or uniform number on his sneakers. This time is was Alonzo Mourning, who FRIDAY'S GAME: Heat vs. Bucks, 7:30 p.m. at Miami Arena. TV: Sunshine. The Heat clinched a playoff spot Tuesday by virtue of the Magic losing. Having survived the loss of Mourning for 22 games, and Jamal Mashburn and Keith Askins for the rest of the regular season, Miami now had to play without Brown, who will miss one or two more games. Just as Isaac Austin did for Mourning, Askins did for Mashburn and Dan Majerle did for Askins, Mark Strickland stepped in for Brown, and for the second wrote "PJ" and "42" on his sneakers for Wednesday. every day in a nice, easy, GREG NORMAN Tve sot a well-balanced life right now. And with that in mind, I seem genua juwwn. THE ASSOCIATED Dave George Sports must look alive on field l The worst thing about TV Commercials is that you can't watch the game when they're on. Of course, the same interruption is imposed on situation comedies and Sunday afternoon painting shows and even Barbara Walters specials, but somehow it's difficult to picture the participants in those programs pacing around during the break, trying to keep their muscles warm, anxious to hear the whistle that indicates the feturn from ads to action. f INSTANT REPLAY REJECTED: Owners shoot down the idea - again. 2C Maybe it happens. Maybe Martha Stewart is freaking out on ;,her homey set during commercials, screaming that she's losing her natural light to properly stencil the rain gutters and that any further delay will jeopardize the timely harvesting of the herb garden as well. I ioubt it, though. Those shows ;are taped and spliced and served up in precise slices. Sports events come to you live, more often than not. The Adrenalin is at flood stage on the field and in the stands. The moment is all that matters, particularly for those fortunate enough to have tickets for the game. Even snack runs and potty stops must wait until half time. The game is on. And then it's off. And on. Off. And on. Television sets the pace, its snaking cables choking momentum whenever a commercial timeout is due. It's artificial and annoying but, according to the economics of the game, necessary. , Instant replay review is not. Not-so-fond memories I Pro football narrowly averted going back to the future Wednesday and glorious was the news of it. A 21-9 affirmative vote by team owners in Orlando fell just two votes short of reinstating instant replay, a system that sputtered and died in 1991 after five seasons of unsuccessful tinkering. ; The last thing the NFL needs is an institutionalized method for making games longer. Robbing the competition of its spontaneity is another problem, and in my opinion, the larger of the two. When referees aren't the last word on a touchdown or a fumble or a completion, then there's too much talking going on down there and not enough hitting. Don't tell me you've forgotten the maddening delays that replay reviews caused under the old system. Check out an NHL game for a refresher course. :: He shoots. He scores. We wait. We wonder. We wander off to the concession stand. We get Please see GE0RGE2C PRESS Norman played in this year. He is maintains interests off the golf course. tag Anna reigns on Lindsay's parade : Anna Kournikova, 16, . upsets No. 2 Lindsa ; Davenport to reach the Lipton semifinals. By Elizabeth Clarke "; Palm Beach Post Staff Writer , KEY BISCAYNE None , of the glamorous trappings of sudden wealth and fame have distracted Anna Kournikova: from her tennis goals. Not the ' acting, the hockey-playing-friend or the new apartment in Miami Beach. Kournikova, 16, proved that Wednesday when she survived another round of one of Lipton's toughest draws, upsetting second seed 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. She played a smarter game and made fewer errors than the world's player. "I thought I played prob TV: i p.m., ESPN; 9:30 ftaped)p.m., , 12:30 p.m. (taped), ESPN2 ? TODAY: Martina' Hingis vs. Venus Williams; Andre j Agassi vs. Jeff ' Tarango; Arantxa ; Sanchez Vicario . vs. Anna -Kourkikova T- ably a little bit too passive," Davenport " said after losing for the first time in two meetings to Kour-, nikova. "That was the difference. She really came up with some good shots." Kournikova, who meets ' Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in a ' semifinal tonight, served well and won 10-of-13 net points in beating Davenport. She was pleased with her results but ' not surprised that she has beat- en three of the world's top 10 players this tournament. "I think I've been working very hard, practicing since Indian Wells," she said. "I think it pays off." Earlier in the week, Kour- . event Please see UPT0H14C rl ttit-! t - a -I it -I a LIPTON OMPIONSHIPS , '?: - - to flow through :r.' ;t ; if ').. TPC is just the third PGA Tour event Greg i an u mm Greg Norman By Craig Dolch Palm Beach Post Staff Writer PONTE VEDRA BEACH Greg Norman has a new look and a new outlook. He is sporting a close-cropped haircut after having his customary flowing blond locks trimmed. His attitude also has undergone a facelift as he prepares for today s start of The Players Championship. Norman said he's been hardened by a couple of off-the-course events, hirst he lashed out at reporters last month at his tournament in Australia when they tried to connect him with the President Clinton-Monica Lewinsky controversy. Norman, Th Panthers losing streak Canadiens x V 7:30 p.m. llj m Record of 17 consecutive losses was set by the Washington Caortats m 1974 75 Last year, 60 players sustained concussions. So far this year, the number is at least 57, including Niedermayer, but those numbers may be skewed because of the increased focus on the issue. , a w pleased with new perspective Wnrman wa en unset bv the first he wrote a story for Sports Illustrated telling people to stop buying tabloid-type publications. But he knows the scrutiny he faces will never stop. "It changes your outlook and philosophy," he said Wednesday. "A lot of people don't even want to know the truth. And in Australia, even when you tell them the truth, they don't believe you. People think you're protecting the president. "It just kind of amazes me. You get a little down on it and you lose a little ... you Please see N0RMAN6C ON TV: The Players Championship, first round, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., ESPN. who had the president stay at his house last year, said the incident motivated him to rally for the victory. Norman became "disgusted a week later when he was criticized after he-withdrew from a rain-delayed tournament in South Africa with nine holes left. Norman said he had permission from the tournament director to leave for a prior commitment to attend a Jeb Bush fund raiser in South Florida. The latest blow: Niedermayer to miss season with post-concussion syndrome When using your head gets you in trouble NHL players who have sustained concussions y or other head injuries this season: v Paul Kariya Injured Feb. 1 by illegal cross-check to A Anaheim trie jaw. Unlikely to return this season. r I Eric Lindros Injured March 7 by a clean shoulder 1 ' - f Philadelphia check to head. Out another two weeks. VC-' Dennis Vaske Out since sustaining third concussion r? j Islanders in three seasons on Nov. 14. IJ- Nick Kypreos Hasn't played since sustaining a Toronto concussion in an exhibition game. Jeremy Stevenson Sustained his second concussionin I I Anaheim less than a year when he was elbowed in an exhibition game. Is playing now. PatLaFontaine Has had five concussions jn ttepast - Rangers but head injury sustained last week has not been classified as a concussion. Status for the rest of season uncertain. , Brett Undros Forced to retire from hockey aner r, v " sustaining his second concuss ,on ,n - J e gbt days on Nov. 24. 1995. e. Lindro Source New o T . ' Kariya missed the Olympics because of an illegal cross-check to his jaw Feb. 1. Pat Lafontaine of the New York Rangers, who has had at least five concussions in the past, has been sidelined since last Monday because of a head injury that is not being classified as a concussion. Chip Burke, an orthopedic surgeon who works for the Pittsburgh Penguins and is chairman of the NHL committee, said the goal for now is to "learn more about concussions and the treatment and safe return of players." A concussion is an alteration in mental status caused by the brain which has the consistency of gelatin or custard shaking inside its protective skull, said Dr Joe Maroon, a Pittsburph dx1or working with Burke on the NHL study. Please see PAKTHERS WC By Joe Capozzi Palm Btack Post Staff Writer ' POMPANO BEACH Just when the Florida Panthers wondered what else could go wrong, coach Bryan Murray on Wednesday said this: Star center Rob Niedermayer will miss the rest of the season because of post-concussion syndrome. "This came with 16 seconds to go in ITiiladelphia in the first game of the year, and its never escaped him." Murray said, referring to the brutal punch from Eric Lindros in Florida's 3-1 loss Oct 1. Nicdermavcr joins Paul Kariya of Anaheim and Dennis Vaske of the New York Islanders as players who likely will miss the rest of the season because of concus- sions. . It comes as a committee of NHL team doctors compiles data for the first time this season on the effects of concussions. V-i-li4 Cl'-'fl lA.tili Mt nlhiiiti1T"" -lV.A ri is, - krtluafeia'